Turkesterone: Benefits, Side Effects & Results

Dr George TouliatosDisclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and does not promote the use of any illegal substances. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultation.

Turkesterone is one of many ecdysteroids, which are natural steroid hormones found in plants and insects.

Turkesterone is technically the plant equivalent of testosterone. They both share a very similar molecular structure, although they work very differently.

Testosterone increases anabolism by increasing serum testosterone concentrations in the bloodstream.

However, turkesterone increases anabolism via estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ) activation. It also increases protein synthesis while inhibiting myostatin and cortisol in the body (1).

As turkesterone doesn’t negatively affect the HPTA (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis), there is potentially great promise for this supplement, as side effects are drastically reduced compared to anabolic steroids.

Turkesterone Studies

Research on turkesterone was first conducted by Russian scientists in 1978, analysing its effects on protein synthesis in mouse liver. They concluded that the insect hormone may have potential physiological benefits (2).

Dianabol vs Turkesterone

A further study in 2000, conducted by Syrov, V. N., compared the anabolic effects of various phytoecdysteroids and steranabols in male rodents (including ecdysterone, turkesterone, and nerobol). Nerobol is another name for methandrostenolone, otherwise known as dianabol.

Despite dianabol being one of the most potent anabolic steroids on the market, the rodents actually experienced greater increases in weight gain on turkesterone in two of the three rodent groups.

Ecdysterone also increased weight gain substantially, albeit less than dianabol and tukesterone.

The only group where dianabol outperformed turkesterone was castrated rats, which makes sense considering turkesterone is an estrogen receptor beta agonist. Thus, the castrated group was deficient in estrogen and therefore had less potential for growth compared to dianabol, which increases testosterone and estrogen levels.

The results from this study are remarkable when you consider that a notable portion of weight gain from dianabol will also be water retention due to aromatization. In contrast, turkesterone will promote lean muscle gains via the inhibition of estrogen. This study also indicates that turkesterone may be notably more anabolic than ecdysterone.

However, it is important to note that this study only used rodent models; therefore, these impressive results are not guaranteed to correlate in humans. This is what we have observed thus far.

First Human Ecdysterone Study Disappoints

The first human ecdysterone study was conducted in 2006 (3), after researchers observed an exceptionally muscular insect at the University of Florida campus.

Although ecdysterone is not turkesterone, it has a similar chemical structure and thus may give insight into the anabolic effectiveness of turkesterone. 

In the study, 45 weight-trained males were split into 4 groups: ecdysterone, methoxyisoflavone, sulfo-polysaccharides, and placebo. The three compounds were all thought to be potentially anabolic substances.

However, the researchers did not find any notable differences among the 4 groups in terms of free testosterone, total testosterone, increases in fat-free mass, or 1RM strength.

Second Human Ecdysterone Study Excites

In 2019, a second human study was conducted (4): 46 men with 1 year of weight training experience participated in a 10-week training program. They split the men into 3 groups, with group 1 taking a standard dose of ecdysterone (2 x 100mg pills), group 2 taking a very high dose of ecdysterone (8 x 100mg pills), and group 3 taking a placebo pill.

They found the ecdysterone groups gained significantly more muscle mass, with the high-dose group also gaining notably more hypertrophy than the standard-dosed group.

However, lab analysis later found the ecdysterone pills only contained 6mg per capsule instead of the 100mg written on the label.

Thus, the cause of such exceptional results in the two ecdysterone groups remains unknown. Such results are unlikely to be attributed to the amount of ecdysterone, with just 6% of the dosage being found in the pill.

A potential spiking of the products is possible, although the pills were tested for prohibited substances. However, there is a small chance a banned substance (that wasn’t tested for) was present in the pill.

Another possibility is that there were false positives in the study, although this is unlikely due to both groups’ results differing, accurately reflecting the increases in ecdysterone dosage.

Interestingly, the researchers made this statement following the study:

Our results strongly suggest the inclusion of ecdysterone in the list of prohibited substances and methods in sports in class S1.2 “other anabolic agents”.

Scientifically, the effects of turkesterone on humans are not entirely known due to limited literature. However, turkesterone’s effects on animals have been nothing short of extraordinary.

Ecdysterone’s effects on humans have also resulted in researchers calling for the supplement to be banned due to its positive effects. However, until further scientific research is conducted, we will not fully understand the effects of turkesterone.

Turkesterone Benefits

  • Muscle gain
  • Fat Loss
  • Increased strength and endurance
  • Natural supplement
  • 100% legal
  • No notable side effects

The amount of muscle gain and fat loss a user can expect from turkesterone has not yet been established due to mixed results in scientific research.

However, anecdotally, if someone is a positive responder to turkesterone, we see them experience anywhere from 8 to 12 pounds of mass in a 2-month cycle. When this amount of weight gain is lean and dry (not including any water retention), it can make a very noticeable impact visually on someone’s muscularity.

In terms of strength, the researchers of the 2019 study observed significantly more pronounced increases in one-repetition bench press performance from ecdysterone users.

Conflicting results can also be attributed to the quality of the specific turkesterone supplement being utilized. We find some turkesterone supplements only contain a fraction of the raw ingredient marked on the label (as was the case in the 2019 human study).

Turkesterone is a natural and legal supplement, so there are no implications for taking it for cosmetic purposes (yet). We have found it to be safe, even when taken in high dosages, confirming the general consensus in the bodybuilding community.

Turkesterone Side Effects

There are no known side effects of turkesterone, based on our observations and current clinical research.

Turkesterone does not notably affect testosterone levels or bind to the androgen receptor, making it free of many anabolic steroid-induced side effects.

Consequently, it does not cause notable fluctuations in blood pressure, prostate hypertrophy or virilization in women.

In the 2019 human study, researchers found that ecdysterone did not increase liver or kidney biomarkers. Thus, turkesterone is not hepatotoxic or nephrotoxic and may be taken safely for several months continuously.

However, mild interactions have been reported in some turkesterone-users, such as feeling dizzy, disorientated, or/and their memory declining on-cycle (5). This decrease in cognitive function may be attributed to the neuroprotective effects of estrogen. Thus, when this hormone decreases, such side effects may occur temporarily, until cycle cessation.

Is Turkesterone Natural?

Turkesterone is a plant-derived drug entity and thus is considered a natural supplement.

In contrast, anabolic steroids are not natural, as they are essentially artificial exogenous hormones (testosterone derivatives) created in a lab and thus not extracted from natural sources.

Consequently, plant-derived drugs (such as turkesterone) have had remarkable therapeutic effects on various human ailments (6), due to their rich flavonoid, triterpene, tannin, and anthraquinone content.

However, anabolic steroids, although they have assisted in the treatment of cachexia in medicine, come with a host of side effects.

Turkesterone Before and After Transformation

turkesterone before and after

This turkesterone user gained 8 pounds in 2 months. His dosage began at 400 mg/day and ended at 800 mg/day. He sourced his own raw turkesterone and experienced no notable changes in hormones (recorded via blood tests).

Visually, he looks fuller and more muscular in the after picture. There also appears to be less subcutaneous body fat at the bottom of his abdomen. His midsection now has a more flat or straight shape, in contrast to some (stubborn) belly fat being more pronounced at the bottom (in the before picture).

Turkesterone Reviews

The following turkesterone reviews have been compiled from various websites and forums online.

Positive Reviews

Since I started turkesterone I’ve gained 10lbs which is crazy considering I’m not trying to gain weight. My eating habits have remained exactly the same. It took a few weeks before I noticed any change, the main difference being increased muscle. I didn’t experience any strength gains.

All my lifts went up 10 pounds and then I plateaued, but I kept the strength gains when I came off.

Neutral Reviews

In my humble opinion, turkesterone is about as legit as creatine. It works but have reasonable expectations.

I bought 3 bottles (1 month’s worth of tablets). $150+ for maybe a little more strength in the gym and that’s it. I could have gotten 45-50mg Var for that. I think it may be good for kids and tested natural athletes, but fairly useless for steroid-users.

I had decent fullness and pumps, but a little pricey to run at 8 caps a day. One side effect I had from it was after dosing I would get lethargic, but I noticed I generally get like this with ecdysteroid products.

Negative Reviews

I took turkesterone. Very expensive waste of money. More gains from sleeping one more hour a day.

Short term very mild boost then the body stops responding to it.

I have tried multiple brands over the past 3 years, and at ever-increasing dosages. I really wanted to see some results. But sadly nothing but a waste of money. Those who think it’s worth it probably are experiencing the placebo effect.

Turkesterone Dosage

turkesterone stack
There is no widely established dosage for turkesterone due to limited research in humans.

However, in trials, men have taken up to 800 mg/day of ecdysterone with no adverse effects.

Anecdotally, we have seen male weight trainers take turkesterone in high dosages of 2000–3000 mg/day and not report any noticeable side effects.

Turkesterone Cycle

There is no need to cycle turkesterone as it does not negatively affect the HPTA (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis) and therefore won’t shut down endogenous testosterone levels.

In our experience, results commonly taper off after 2-3 months, which is why many still utilize cycle protocols (preventing the body from building up tolerance).

Is Turkesterone worth it?

The true effectiveness of turkesterone has not yet been established. However, like with any supplement or steroid, there will be hyper-responders and hypo-responders.

Thus, we have seen people take turkesterone and gain 10 pounds in 8 weeks, whereas others can take it and notice zero results.

We find that natural weight trainers are more likely to experience better results from turkesterone compared to steroid users who have previously taken potent anabolic compounds.

If turkesterone is effective in humans, it is important to take a high-quality turkesterone product that actually has the active amount of turkesterone as specified on the label.

Even some steroid users complain that their stacks have not worked, which is almost certainly due to the active steroid being heavily diluted or completely replaced.

Anecdotally, it is common for users to experience only mild results (less than 10 pounds of weight gain) when taking high-cost brands of turkesterone. 

Is Turkesterone a steroid?

No, turkesterone is not an anabolic steroid but instead an ecdysteroid, which is the natural hormone in plants and insects (7). Due to its natural extraction process rather than artificial formulation, it is classified as a natural supplement.

Is Turkesterone banned by WADA?

Turkesterone is not currently banned by WADA. For turkesterone to be prohibited, it would have to satisfy any two of the three criteria (taken from the official WADA website):

(1) It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance; (2) It represents an actual or potential health risk to the Athlete; (3) It violates the spirit of sport (this definition is outlined in the Code).

Turkesterone could potentially satisfy 1 and 3, thus a future ban is possible. However, this would only occur if human studies found significant enhancements in athletic performance.

Note: Turkesterone is also not banned by any other sporting organizations.

Is Turkesterone Safe?

No health body or authority has stated turkesterone to be 100% safe, due to limited human research.

However, the limited medical and anecdotal evidence that is available suggests that turkesterone can be safely taken, even in high dosages. This has been our experience.

Does Turkesterone Cause Hair Loss?

Theoretically, turkesterone does not bind to the androgen receptor and thus shouldn’t cause androgenic side effects, such as hair loss, acne vulgaris, or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

However, a few users have complained of acne and hair loss on-cycle.

It is important to note that most of our patients on turkesterone do not experience the above side effects. However, in genetically susceptible individuals, they can occur.

Turkesterone Before or After Workout?

The standard protocol is to take turkesterone in the morning with some food, as some users report stomach upset when taken on an empty stomach.

However, the dosage can be split up throughout the day, such as taking half prior to your workout and half after.

It depends on how turkesterone affects the user, as some people feel energized after a dose and others feel lethargic. Thus, taking it in the evening before sleep may be more optimal for the latter user.

Turkesterone for Women

Turkesterone is a suitable supplement for women to take, as it does not notably affect testosterone levels. In contrast, anabolic steroids can cause masculinization; thus, women’s main option is to take small dosages of anavar to avoid virilization side effects.

If turkesterone is eventually deemed to have only mild effects in terms of results (muscular strength and hypertrophy), it may be better suited for women than men.

This is because the majority of women do not want to build exceptional amounts of muscle mass.

Turkesterone vs SARMs

Turkesterone is a natural substance, whereas SARMs are not.

Turkesterone does not bind to the androgen receptor, whereas SARMs do (8).

Turkesterone does not cause any harsh side effects in users, whereas we have found SARMs to cause great fluctuations in HDL (high-density lipoprotein), liver toxicity, and suppressed endogenous testosterone levels.

In theory, due to their tissue selectivity, SARMs should be safe, but in practice, we see them replicate or even surpass the toxicity of some anabolic steroids, causing injury or health deterioration (9).

Turkesterone Pros and Cons


  • Some promising studies (albeit mostly in animal models)
  • Natural supplement
  • Safe to take (most users notice no side effects)
  • Some positive reviews (gains of approximately 10lbs)


  • Yet to be ‘proven’ scientifically
  • Can be expensive (depending on the manufacturer)
  • Some people report no results

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